Tuesday, January 03, 2012

If it ain't broke, why did Intuit break it?

Ah, the joys of working with QuickBooks 2012 continue!  Call me overeager, but each year I try and knock out my client 1099s as early in the New Year as possible.  So today I decided to take a crack at using Intuit's eFiling service for 1099s and printing to plain paper.

Problem #1 is that the interface to review your 1099 recipients has changed and I think it's terrible.  Again, they seem to have employed Java or some other software to try and make the interface a bit more modern.  But it's not flexible or accurate.  For example on the first screen I see multiple vendors checked who will not be due 1099s.  Why?  Because I didn't pay them last year.  Heck, one is deceased, so I'm not sure how he would have earned a payment from me.

So I hit "Continue" and find that in the Address field all that's listed is the full name of the recipient.  This might make sense if there was anything after that, like a street address, but there is not.

On the next screen, I was warned that my filing thresholds are not in line with IRS regulations.  This turned out to be true.  But since I'm not paying out in any of the categories QuickBooks insisted on changing, it was irrelevant and a waste of my time to review and "fix."

On the next screen is the latest pain in the rear:  "Review payments for exclusions".  To quote from the help screen, Beginning with the 2011 tax year, the IRS requires you to exclude from Form 1099-MISC any payments you made by credit card, debit card, gift card, or third-party payment network such as PayPal. (These payments are being reported by the card issuers and third-party payment networks on Form 1099-K.)

When you use check payments (in either Pay Bills or Write Checks) to record a vendor payment made with a credit card, debit card, or gift card, or using a third-party payment network such as PayPal, you should note the payment method in the check number field. QuickBooks recognizes, and automatically excludes from Form 1099-MISC, any check payment containing one of the following notations in the check number field (limited to 8 characters).

Oy.  Really?  That's almost enough to make me want to pay everyone by check that I might ever have to send a 1099 to, just so I don't have to deal with this B.S.  I understand the IRS is working hard to track every dollar made in the US, but having the credit-card companies report on us?  Geez.

Okay, let's get back to QuickBooks and it's giant FAIL!  On the next screen, "Confirm your 1099 entries," I get a total of TWO individuals that should get 1099s, but the total of what they were paid is zero.  But if I run a "Detail Report," I get a couple of dozen vendors due 1099s and a total of what they were paid in the six figures.  Oops!

On the next screen, I have the option of eFiling or printing the 1099s on pre-printed forms.  When I clicked on eFile, it was unclear what could happen next, so first I'm going to try and chat with a specialist.  Hum the theme from "Jeopardy" here.

I have now been waiting two minutes.  My anticipated wait time was 0 minutes and I was first in line!

I am now chatting with Jessica.  Jessica is such a cute name.  I wonder what her real name is?  I find that Customer Support personnel usually have a real name and a name they use when providing support.  Alas, Jessica cannot help me, since the program locks up once you start a chat session.  She referred me to telephone support, which I just called and found the wait for telephone payroll support is one hour!

The old 1099 printing method worked just fine.  So why did Intuit change it and, it seems, break it?  If I ever find out, I'll let you know.


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